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Is The 2014 Mini Cooper S Better Than The Ford Fiesta ST?

The Mini Cooper S is all-new for 2014. It's bigger, wider, taller, more powerful, but in terms of overall quality and value, probably better than ever. But can it trump the Ford Fiesta ST, the reigning champeen of small hot hatches?

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That's the question our pal Alex Goy from XCAR poses in this video review of the new 189 horsepower, 2.0-liter turbo Cooper S. I'm jealous because he got to drive one with a stick while my tester had an autobox. He also has a diesel Cooper D, which was present on my press drive in right-hand drive form, but they didn't let any Americans behind the wheel. (And don't think I didn't try!)

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So back to our original question: Fun as it is, is the new Cooper S as good as the Fiesta ST? I think it's certainly more premium-feeling and better equipped, but no, it's not as fun to drive. Alex thinks so too, saying the Fiesta ST is a superior hooligan-machine.

In the end, he says he'd prefer the Cooper S for making him smile more. Having driven both, I don't think you can go wrong with either.

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DISCUSSION

Not only is the 2014 Cooper S better than the Fiesta, the 2013 Cooper S is, as well. And both are better than the Focus ST, to boot. I test drove both, and so did my wife. The Ford products weren't even close... very plasticky and phoney (right down to the piped-in engine sounds on the Focus). The MINIs were much more connected and alive feeling. I put my money where my mouth is and bought the '13 Cooper (the '14 is just too ugly).